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Restaurant Review: Lomonico’s Downtown

Miriam Bowers Abbott Miriam Bowers Abbott Restaurant Review: Lomonico’s DowntownPhotos by Lillian Dent.
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Lomonico’s has been on its way Downtown for a year. Originally established and beloved in Pickerington, announcements of the impending arrival of the second location came last August. At the time, the debut was planned for November 2014. But good things come to those who wait, and the new spot’s doors opened a few weeks ago. It’s a streamlined establishment with a bar, wood floors, and a couple of televisions for good measure.

The Lomonico name seems Italian. But given the heavy presence of continental entrees on the menu, it’d be more rational to plan on enjoying victuals from a diverse collection of influences.

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That said, the Meatballs ($9) are remarkable, so go ahead and plan to be full Italian on those. An order yields three as an appetizer, each roughly the size of a golfball; achingly tender, a fork glides right through them. They’re smothered and clotted with a pulpy, naturally sweet tomato sauce, and served atop polenta worth eating — and that’s saying something for polenta. The base is uncommonly cheesy.

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The dreamy polenta is more cheesy, in fact, than the Smoked Mac & Cheese ($7). A ramekin arrives encrusted with melted cheese and mild, homey pasta inside. It’s not heavily smoky, but instead very comforting. Cheese fans should stick with the polenta, though.

For salad fans, get the Caesar ($7). It’s built on full leaves of romaine that get a brief blackened treatment. The char gives the lettuce just enough grill-time to impart flavor, but not so much that it wilts altogether. While it’s not a new idea, grilled salads never caught on very much in Columbus, and that’s a shame. Lomonico’s guilds the lily with with crouton wedges, parmesan, optional anchovies, and a creamy lemon-garlic dressing.

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Entrees are sizable. You’re going to get a lot of food for the money. Case in point: Meatloaf ($16). Being already impressed with the house meatballs, it’s no shock to find that Lominico’s does a good meatloaf too. A literal loaf’s worth of slices are laid out like a deck of cards and drizzled with a zippy sauce reminiscent of a hybrid between A1 and Heinz 57. It comes with a massive pile of green beans and a puddle of natural mashed potatoes; not too fussy, but perfect together.

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When it comes to the Cod and Chips ($15), the fish is chunked in small sections to deliver an optimal crunchy, batter-to-fish ratio. It’s served with a super thick tartar atop a mountain of equally impressively crunchy fries. They’re soft inside, and boast a briny, vaguely herbal seasoning sprinkle.

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If you’re going to do continental food, and you’re going to set up shop in Downtown Columbus, you’re probably obliged to serve a House Burger ($13). It’s okay, nothing terribly special (though the bun has a super-cute swirly lid): lean beef, smoked gouda, more of those awesome fries, and some dynamite, pulpy tomato jam for dipping.

Lomonico’s also boasts a wood-fired oven with a variety of pizza choices; notable is the menu’s mention of a gluten-free crust option. It’s open Downtown for lunch and dinner. You can find it at 340 East Gay Street.

For more information, visit www.lomonicos.com.

All photos by Lillian DentPhotos are taken at a different time than review, so discrepancies between photos and review may occur.

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